Theoretical mycosis treatment and plausible reasoning for higher mycosis cases in recent SE asian i

LeFanDesBugs

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
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563
Damn, how did I miss this thread!

First off, I wanna say that I, unfortunately, DO have a candidate in my care for testing and/or sample collection. An adult female E. rubripes platycephalus which should thankfully molt soon and recover, but then that means I'll be able to take some cuticle bits out of the container for study! If she does end up dying, which is still a possibility, I'd be willing to get samples and ship them to anyone capable of analyzing them.

Now, I do want to point out that some species are much more prone to mycosis than others. This species, for instance, is the only one that has ever developed mycosis in my care and I don't think that's a coincidence. I already lost my male to mycosis. The female was in pristine condition when she came to me.
Their original habitat seems very interesting to me: Solomon Islands.

I do want to shime in and stress the fact that we do not have a clear picture on the diets of these animals. Much like reptiles, don't they need additional nutrients and minerals that we simply don't provide them with? Lack of these nutrients could in fact lead to immune system failure, weakening the individual and exposing it to infections.
What drew me to this theory is E. rubripes platycephalus' habitat: Solomon Islands. A very humid habitat. Yet, obvisouly, the species isn't decimated by fungi in nature, in a place that's extremely humid. Why is that? I've come to think of a potential reason: salt. The Solomon archipelago is, obviously, surrounded by the ocean. There must be high levels of salt content everywhere, even inland. Something that we simply don't provide island species with. And salt dries out everything. This is something I thought about, and I believe it might be worth considering.
 
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Odium

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
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10
Well, i never had mycosis problems with my pets (T's mostly, and 2 cingulatas), but if I ever face some signs of external mycosis on my pedes or T's, I would probably try several approaches:

1) Ultraviolet baths, at least once per day - most of parasitic fungi do not tolerate it.

2) External treatment with antimycotic agents after CO2-knockout. Concentrations and exact type needs some investigation.

3) Lowering the humidity level, ofc.

If at least one approach works, it may be possible to keep the animal alive before purifying moult saves it.
 

LeFanDesBugs

Arachnobaron
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Mar 14, 2015
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563
Ultraviolet light could be something to try, assuming the rays don’t harm the centipede itself.
 

MasterOogway

Arachnoknight
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Jun 19, 2016
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Ultraviolet light could be something to try, assuming the rays don’t harm the centipede itself.

I'm not sure I'm convinced. UV light doesn't penetrate very far into anything, and don't we think that's why these fungi cause the increased melanization of tissue? To specifically protect themselves against UV light? I mean, I guess if the fungus is eroding the cuticle and there is a way for UV to get to everything than potentially. But IDK. Color me skeptical I suppose.
 
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MasterOogway

Arachnoknight
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Isn’t the fungus completely exposed on the exoskeleton?
Is it? I mean I have no idea tbh; I'm no mycologist. I figured there was some sort of spore/growth on the surface, but wouldn't the hyphae of the fungus penetrate down into the sub-cuticular region? Otherwise, what's the point of the fungus causing the increased melanization of the cuticle?
 
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LeFanDesBugs

Arachnobaron
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563
I’m not sure it should be interpreted as increased melanization. I’m no mycologist either, but I’d only interpret the dark spots as the appearance of pigment, which would rather be a byproduct of the fungus’ activity, or even the fungus itself.
To sum my idea up, I don’t necessarily think the black spots are this specific colour to protect the fungus from radiation..
To my knowledge, there’s no clear evidence that the species of fungus we’re dealing with spreads in a subcutaneous manner.. ?
 

MasterOogway

Arachnoknight
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I'm under the assumption that this fungus (or collection of fungi, who even knows) uses pigmentation to avoid harmful UV exposure, as is pretty well documented in several other fungi. This could be totally wrong though, I'll be the first to admit. An interesting post I found a while back while reading on this topic can be be found on http://atshq.org/boards/viewtopic.php?t=15814, in the second post (not sure about 'legality' of linking another forum here, mods feel free to remove if it violates TOS). They talk about melanization of the cuticle as protection, and the hyphae essentially penetrating down through the cuticle into the haemolymph at which point it can pretty much circulate in the organism for an indefinitely long time.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
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422
Really interesting stuff here.

The theory of pigmentation of cuticle to limit UV exposure is interesting, although there are a few things to take into account:
  1. Centipedes are not know for being out in the sun.
  2. If Aspergillus niger is indeed the culprit, it is black anyway, and may explain the black we see.
  3. Centipede's exoskeletons turn black in response to damage anyway (broken legs have black stubs)
Which is not to say that's not exactly what is happening.

In the article linked by @MasterOogway, the poster mentions looking for an internal treatment, which makes total sense as exoskeletons are rather impervious, so it's unlikely that topical application will be effective, unless the compound can penetrate.

As @LeFanDesBugs suggestion on salt or minerals for general health, I think he could really be onto something, for three reasons:
  1. Scolopendras predominantly hang out under stones, which attract condensation, so if centipedes drink in the wild (let's assume they do) then it is most likely to be from water droplets formed on stones, which may well have a small mineral content. Or they drink from puddles, which will have plenty mineral dust in them.
  2. Scolopendras go crazy for salty food, like fish, garlic paste, processed meats etc...
  3. I read a field report on Scolopendra gigantea in Trinidad (the black variety) where the author was convinced they ate a type of local hazelnut which provided calcium. I really wish I still had a copy of it. But he's not the only person to have noted the importance of calcium in diet of arthropods.
So it could be that how we keep centipedes, with our treated tap water, habitats made solely of organic materials, and staple livefoods, we are failing to provide them with enough mineral content. Maybe spraying a stone is a better way to offer pedes a drink?
 
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